During these long winter months, Quin and I are blessed to have two greenhouses that we often escape to. We start all the seeds for what we grow at Quinstock Farms in the small greenhouse attached to the south side of Twin Oast. It’s a small but heated greenhouse.
Then, we transfer the plants from April to May to our big, unheated greenhouse on the acreage that we have creatively named “Farm 1.” It’s the first farm property we purchased, located across from Barnes Nursey on Northeast Catawba Road near the chicken coop. It’s basically a big hoop house with raised beds for planting and large tables for the seedlings to harden off before planting.
However, in this non-heated greenhouse, I can winter over most of my herbs. Rosemary (used in the drinks at Gideon Owen and in Twin Oast’s Ice Shove beer), Marjoram, Thyme, Sage, Lavender, and Mint all survive the winter in their pots.
I love growing herbs. Many herbs are perennials, and not only do they enhance the flavor of our foods and are nutritious, but they add a nice texture to cut flower bouquets.
I recently added Chocolate Mint to the other types of mint I grow. This is the secret ingredient of the Beet Salad at the winery. It adds that special “What’s that flavor?” to the mix.
The Beet Salad is one of my favorites, especially topped with salmon. Pair this dish with our Gideon Owen Vidal Blanc or Chambourcin wine for the perfect meal.
The Vidal Blanc compliments the sweet and sour flavors of the beets and vinaigrette dressing. The Chambourcin pairs well with the earthiness of the beets and helps cut the fattiness of the salmon. Both wines are off-dry.
And when you visit our outdoor deck this summer, look for our potted plants. Many are filled with the herbs used by our bar and kitchen.
P.S. All our beets for the Beet Salad are cooked and pickled in-house. We never use canned beets. When in season, usually spring and fall, Quinstock Farms provides the beets, too.
Photos of Farm one Greenhouse by Patrick Lockwood